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Publisher/Editor: >■ D. Cheek, Sr. aka "Dr. Rigormortis" _ V2H4: April, 1992 


k Journal of VHF-UHF Scanner Technology k Engineering 
Published at: COHHtronics Engineering: PO BOX 262478; San Diego, CA 92)96 Copyright (c) 1991-2 

_ ISSN 1061-9240 

(All Rights Reserved) _ $4.00 


Every page of last month's issue has an error in the Vol/ 
Number where it's incorrectly given as "V2N2". The 
correct entry should be "V2N3". You might want to make 
pen & ink changes to your copies to eliminate confusion 
in the future when we refer to certain backissues. Sorry 
for any inconvenience this may have caused. 


If your mailing label says, "Expire Date: May 92", then 
you have one more issue coming before your subscription 
expires. If it is convenient, you may want to renew 
right away to get it off your mind. Otherwise, we'll 
remind you again next month. 


I am gratified that our new BBS, the Hertzian Intercept, 
is doing so well despite the very inconvenient hours. We 
apologize for the limited hours and you can rest assured 
that we're doing all we can do to get a 3rd phone line in 
here so it can be dedicated on a 24-hr basis. For the 
time being, the best time we can offer for you to get 
through is midnight to 6:00 am, PST, BUT just for WSR 
readers, here's a little clue: The BBS is automatically 
switched ON at 8:00 pm and OFF at 8:00 am, PST. You CAN 
try to get through anytime between those hours. The thing 
is, is that I'm usually doing computer work until nearly 
midnight and again starting at about 6:00 am, so take 
that into account if you get a continuous BUSY signal. 
The BBS's published hours for the World-At-Large remain 
midnight to 6:00am, but you dear Readers are invited to 
try anytime between 8pm-8am, PST. If the computer is 
busy, you'll get a busy signal; if it's open, the BBS 
will answer, so maybe it is worth a try. Our BBS number 
remains (619) 578-9247 for the present. We now have an 
official FidoNet Address for electronic mail: 1:202/731 
if you have the capability for Direct NetMail. 

One of Hobby Radio's Finest Toolsi _ 

Speaking of computer bulletin board services (BBS), I 
just have to share with you some inside scoop on a vast 
resource of ideas, information, knowledge and opinions on 
hundreds of subjects, including SCANNING and SHORTWAVE 
LISTENING! I hope this article motivates you to put a 
computer on the list of tools that support your radio 
hobby. It might well become more useful and rewarding 
than your radio equipment! Imagine an engineer without a 
calculator; a bus driver without a bus; and a carpenter 
without a hammer! You just might forever after wonder 

how you managed to play radio without a computer. We all 
know how offices managed to do very well without word 
processors and copiers only a few years ago. And we radio 
buffs managed quite nicely, too. The computer has opened 
doors to all areas of human pursuit thanks to automation 
and to a enormous volume of instantly available data and 
information. The five-person office of today does the 
work of what it took fifty to do 25-yrs ago. Today's 
radio hobbyist, armed to the teeth with a computer, a 
modem and an extra serial port is far better equipped & 
prepared for a massive frontal assault on the airwaves 
than entire legions of radio experts of only a few years 
ago! There are many reasons for this, including rapidly 
advancing technology, but ACCESS to INFORMATION is one 
and is the focus of this special article. 

You see, information exists everywhere, but getting to it 
or accessing it can be a different story. Even public 
libraries, traditional storehouses of information, are 
rarely convenient and accessible at the precise moment 
you need a bit of data, On the other hand, a virtual 
treasure trove of information can be no farther away than 
your computer and only seconds away from your eyes and 
mind. Consider that it might take several minutes or 
longer to research a certain scanner frequency in Police 
Call & other directories but only a few seconds from the 
memory banks of your computer. Ok, you might ask, a 
computer is really dumb unless it is programmed with data 
so how do I get that data in the first place? A fair 
question. There are a number of ways to put information 
into your computer and there's no escaping the fact that 
the task can resemble that of assembling and maintaining 
a home library of books and files. I said "resemble". 
Actually, it’s a lot different in action, requiring much 
less energy, time, space and cost. One of the most 
effortless and least costly resources of information for 
your computer files can be found in a public network of 
computer bulletin board systems called the FidoNet. 

'Twas in 1984 when a few computer nerds, including Tom 
Jennings, started a small message network. Word of this 
spread like wildfire. Their system evolved into a world 
wide network of 8,000 nodes by 1990. Today this fabulous 
network has over 14,000 participating BBS's with dozens 
in every metropolitan area. 

The FidoNet vaguely resembles Citizens Band and Amateur 
radio in the sense that it is a medium through which 
thousands of people communicate with others of like 
interests across town, state, country, geographical and 
political borders and even oceans, all from the comfort 
of the home or office. If you have a telephone line, a 
computer, a modem and software to run the modem, then the 
cost to tap into this leviathan storehouse of information 

can be virtually nothing, and certainly very low. Chances 
are that one or more Fido BBS's are located in your local 
telephone calling area. You only need call and log on to 
any Fido BBS to be connected into this worldwide network. 
If that BBS is located within your local calling area, 
there is usually no cost. You see, the FidoNet consists 
of more than 14,000 amateur BBS's around the world with 
over 10,000 in the USA and Canada alone. It is expressly 
forbidden to use the FidoNet for commercial purposes. 
Therefore, if you can find a Fido BBS in your local 
calling area, chances are you won't have to spend a dime 
to link up with the world! The SysOps are private 
people, and just like us, are very dedicated to their 
hobby. They pay for their computer equipment and phone 
costs just like we do. A rare few BBS's may levy a 
monthly membership fee, but these guys are either very 
stupid or else they have a system so well setup that a 
fee is worth it. In any case, most BBS's are FREE access 
and therefore you can freely connect with the world! 

Think of FidoNet as a CB radio with over 500 channels or 
"Echoes", each of which is dedicated to or focused on a 
special interest topic. One Echo in particular and in 
which you will be keenly interested is the "Shortwave 
Echo", which is dedicated exclusively to Shortwave 
Listening and VHF-UHF Scanning. Other "Echoes" are 
dedicated to Ham Radio, Broadcast radio, satellite TV, 
knitting, coffee-lovers, law, medicine, arts, crafts, 
etc. There are Echoes for religion, politics, adult 
subjects, recreation, travel, computers and of course, 
hundreds more. The one in which we are interested is the 

No single Fido BBS carries all 500+ Echoes, so you might 
have to search out a few BBS's before you find one that 
has the Shortwave Echo. You might not find any local 
BBS's that carry it, but don't despair; you have options: 
(1) call other Fido BBS's in nearby toll areas. If you 
call at night, tolls can be rather low and painless to 
your budget, or (2) Contact the System Operator (SysOp) 
of each BBS in your calling area and ask if he/she will 
carry the Shortwave Echo for you or help you find a BBS 
that does! A primary objective of a Fido-BBS is to carry 
Echoes that will draw and appeal to their patrons. The 
SysOps KNOW it's wise to cater to the needs of their 
patrons, so they will usually have an open mind to your 
request. As you contact first one BBS and then another, 
ask the SysOp if any BBS's in your local area carry the 
Shortwave Echo. SysOps have a comrade spirit, so they 
pretty much know each other and which Echoes are carried 
by the various BBS's. You'll find one in a short time, 
if you don't luck out on the first few tries. Now, here 
is one scenario of how the FidoNet Shortwave Echo works: 

I log into my local Fido "node" (BBS) every morning to 
read all the new shortwave & scanner messages that have 
come in since the day before. When there is a message of 
interest to me or which needs my response, I'll usually 
compose a reply on the spot. Throughout the day, my BBS 
dumps the day's traffic back upstream to a "Hub", which 
in turn dumps the traffic from a number of nodes further 

upstream to a "Host'' which then dumps a greater volume ot 
traffic into a "Gateway". The Gateways then circulate 
all that traffic around to the various "Hosts" and "Hubs" 
and in turn, back down to the "nodes". So if I send out 
a message today, it will circulate throughout the system 
during the day and that night so that everyone who 
participates in the Shortwave/Scanner Echo will see my 
message the following day. If a reply is made at that 
time, I'll probably receive it the following day. 

If it sounds complicated, relax, because you don't really 
care what happens or how it happens. All you have to do 
is read the daily messages which interest you and respond 
if and when you want. It will come to you, after a few 
sessions, how easy it can be to affiliate with thousands 
of other radio hobbyists. You will find people from all 
walks of Life participating on the FidoNet Shortwave/ 
Scanner Echo, including experts, dealers and Who's Who 
kinds of people right down to the greenest neophytes. 
Again, relax, because it's an informal setting where the 
greenest neophyte and the most grizzled expert are on 
equal footing. Participation on the Shortwave/Scanner 
Echo is a great way to pick up the inside scoop on 
everything in radio from what's hot and what's not to 
hints, tips, tricks, and answers to your most profound 
questions about everything from Antennas to Impedance. 

In addition to the public message system, FidoNet also 
has a semi-private NetMail system for SysOps to send 
E-Mail between themselves, off the side and away from the 
Public Message areas. Many SysOps allow their users 
NetMail privileges, too. Fido’s NetMail system is a lot 
like E-mail in other information services; a handy, quick 
and pleasurable way to communicate with others on a 
reasonably private basis. Some SysOps restrict NetMail 
privileges so it may not be available, depending. 

Least well known, but very potent is FidoNet's informal 
"library system" called FREQ or "File REQuests". Most 
BBS's maintain large data file storage areas filled with 
everything from freeware and shareware computer programs 
to volumes of information on various subjects. Since 
radio is a hobby and a pursuit of specialized interest, 
most BBS's won't stock radio related information in their 
File Sections unless the SysOp is a radio buff like us... 
BUT....there are a number of radio-exclusive specialty 
BBS's around the world which stock hundreds of megabytes 
worth of radio information on every subject you can think 
of, again from antennas to impedance, including product 
reviews, mods, and resource lists. Most Fido BBS's can 
File Request (FREQ) so it may be possible for you to get 
the SysOp to obtain certain data files for you if you 
know what to ask for and where they can be found. You 
can also get files direct, once you know how. Think of 
this file system as a huge "library" system which can be 
operated right from your Keyboard. This is getting a 
little advanced for an introductory article, but I wanted 
to give you an overview of what the FidoNet is all about. 

First, you have to get connected. Most any computer with 
a 1200 baud or faster modem will do, though turtle's pace 

"THE WORLD SCANNER REPORT" (c) 1991-2; V2N4 - April, 1992; Page 2 

300-baud modems can work fine with many systems. Next, 
you have to find a FidoNet BBS. There are several ways 
to do this. If you already do modem/BBS work, then you 
have a head start. Just ask the SysOps of your favorite 
BBS's where you can find a Fido BBS. You might already 
be affiliated with one and not be aware of it! If you are 
new to modeming, then one sure bet is to call a computer 
store and ask if they have a list of local BBS's in your 
area. Most will and you’ll be on the way. Again, just 
log on to a few BBS's and ask the SysOps about FidoNet. 
You will find one quicker than you think, because SysOps 
are thicker than fleas and they know who's who and who 
specializes in what. When you find a Fido BBS and you 
surely will, then determine if it carries the SHORTWAVE 
echo and if not, ask or beg for it. 

If worse comes to worse and you just can't find a Fido 
BBS in your area, send me a SASE and TWO loose extra 
postage stamps along with a mention of your telephone 
Area Code. I will prepare for you a list of Fido BBS's 
in your Area, arranged in telephone number order so you 
can easily determine which are local. It is a good bet 
that you’ll have 10 to 100 or more from which to choose! 
For example, the Michigan (313) Area Code has 135 Fido 
BBS's; my (619) area code has a hundred. 

This introduction has only scratched the surface of the 
FidoNet and how it can be used to enhance your radioing 
pleasure. I could not possibly explain it to the detail 
that I would like, even if I used all eight pages of this 
issue. You're just going to have to try it for yourself. 
You'll see. And if you have any trouble, let me know and 
I'll see what I can do to smooth the way for you. In 
summary, let me just say that the FidoNet and a computer 
can bring a worldwide radio club right onto your desk 
along with a library of info and data. Every morning I 
rise to a steaming cup of fresh ground Colombian Supremo 
coffee and a roundtable discussion with radio enthusiasts 
around the world from Germany, Netherlands, England, 
Australia, Canada and virtually all 50-states of the USA. 
Even as I awaken, a wealth of info and data lies at my 

fingertips. All this_and much more can be at YOUR 

fingertips, too! If this doesn't motivate you to join 
the Fido Radio Gang, write to me and tell me what will! 

Now, continuing with 1992's focus on computers to enhance 
the enjoyment & rewards of radio, Perry Joseph joins us 
to build upon the foundations he laid down last month: 


by Perry Joseph, President, DataFile, Inc. 

Last month, I discussed several "manual" solutions for 
keeping track of scanner frequencies and their licensees. 
In this article, I will discuss the use of computers as a 
more efficient means of maintaining frequency lists. 

My first experience with microcomputers dates back to 
1983 when I worked as a salesman for industrial video 
gear at a local video store. The owner decided to carry 
Apple Computers. The first Apple was a humble product. 

Loading data and software into the computer required a 
modified cassette deck. It took several minutes just to 
get the darn thing to produce it's first screen of info. 
But it was a cheap, new toy for the consumer market. I 
never took the Apple Computer too seriously. It was 
great for playing games. Let’s face it, anything beat 
"Pong” in those days. The Apple's primary drawback was 
speed: a lack of it. It wasn't until we purchased an IBM 
"XT" microcomputer that I started to actually use one for 
anything other than entertainment. Even then, it was only 
equipped with floppy disk drives. 

A year or so later, we purchased an IBM "XT" with a hard 
disk system so large amounts of data could be maintained 
at a reasonable cost. The microcomputer had found its 
place in the small business environment. In the latter 
part of 1986, I decided that microcomputers were the next 
great product of the electronics industry. I resigned my 
job, purchased a computer system and started DataFile. 

Any basic "Computer 101" course or book, categorizes 
software into five basic groups: word processing, record 
keeping (database management), communications (using a 
modem, etc.), spreadsheets (accounting, math, etc.) and 
graphics (computer aided drawing, games, etc.). The 
first two categories, word processing and record keeping, 
can be applied to manage our scanner frequency lists. 

My first experience with computerizing frequency lists 
was to enter the data into a word processor. A Word 
Processors is a quantum leap for anyone who has ever used 
a typewriter to make letters & lists. Word processors 
allow you to enter, manipulate, format, print, store and 
retrieve text. Other features might include word wrap, 
scrolling, insertion, deletion, move, search and undo. 

Naturally, I created lists of names and frequencies in 
the word processor. Now I could change a name or a freq 
and reprint an updated list without the scribble of 
"handwritten days past". Changing a name or a freq was 
easy since my WP had a "search and replace" feature. 

A word processor had definite advantages over handwritten 
notes, but lacks a few needed functions. Real control 
and "manipulation" of frequency data requires a "record 
keeping system", better known as a "database" program. 

Database programs allow you to search, add, delete, sort, 
update, print and do some math calculations. What's that? 
Word processors do the same thing? There is some truth 
to that with exception that databases tend to do more and 
do it better when it comes to pure record keeping. 

Database managers offer standard groups of features which 
can be selected through choices displayed in the menus. 
Enhanced features may include creating custom screen 
displays, custom reports and displaying "help" screens 
with menu choices and explanations to guide the new user. 

Database programs generally treat information as some 
form of a "record". As an example, a frequency record 

"THE WORLD SCANNER REPORT" (c) 1991-2; V2N4 - April, 1992; Page 3 

might hold the following information, typically organized 
in columns or descriptions called "Fields" or Categories. 










A database program affords the power to sort or "index" 
groups of records alphabetically, numerically and some¬ 
times even chronologically (date/time order). Sorting or 
indexing allows us to look at or retrieve records in a 
number of ways. Records can be sorted by one or more 
field names, typically called "key field(s)". 

For example, if we sort our records by licensee name 
first and frequency second, and if there are a number of 
records with the same licensee name, the sorted list will 
group these names together in name order followed by 
their related frequencies in numerical order. Using this 
same sorted list, we can print our records on a select or 
"filtered" basis. For example, we could print a report 
for all licensee names that begin with "A", or all 
licensees on frequencies between 460-4713 MHz. 

The winning edge of using a database manager over a word 
processor in organizing my frequency list was speed and 
the ability to manipulate my information. A data base 
let me look up and change records with little effort. I 
could easily compare my list with another list without 
concern for the order of the "other list". Checking for 
duplicate frequencies was a snap. I went on to customize 
my screens so that a record consisted of the specified 
data. I created enumerable customized reports to enhance 
my enjoyment of scanning. 

A growing body of scientific evidence now points toward 
the possibility of predicting major seismic events based 
on low frequency transients. Probably the most widely 
known investigation was conducted by a team headed by 
Anthony Fraser-Smith of Stanford's Star Lab. This study 
found distinctive patterns in the 0.05 to 10 Hertz range 
(yes, Hertz, not kHz.). The Fraser-Smith study was based 
on experiments conducted in the Soviet Union, which in 
turn grew out of folklore from China and Japan. Joe Tate 
and William Daily found anomalies in the 1-10 kHz range, 
while others report signals to 100 kHz. Among amateur 
radio operators there are many anecdotal incidents of 
earthquake transients all the way up to the HF range. 

My idea is to create a network of amateur monitors for 
the following ranges: 

1. The 0.01 to 12 Hertz range. Joe Tate, and Anthony 
Fraser-Smith have done successful experiments in this 
range, but they are extremely difficult and 
expensive. The Schumann resonances come into play, 
man-made interference is a problem and specialized 
digital equipment may be necessary. 

2. The audio portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, 
200 Hz to 15 kHz. Conversion Research, PO Box 535, 
Descanso, CA, has an excellent broad range, untuned 
receiver on the market for only $48, and this may 
work well for our purposes. 

3. A tuned receiver for about 8 to 50 kHz, with about a 
2 to 3 kHz bandpass. This is the range that several 
experimenters, including Jack Coles of Santa Clara, 
California, claim is effective. There have also been 
some Japanese experiments in this range. 

Next month I will tell you about some of the more popular 
database programs, some considerations that go along with 
purchasing one and the type of database software used to 
create ProScan™, a Frequency Management System. 

4. A tuned receiver for 30 to 150 kHz, with adjustable Q 
for selectivity or broad coverage, again of 2 to 3 
kHz bandpass. A simple converter may be applicable 
here. Again several experimenters have found 
possible quake precursors in this range. 


I am conducting research into experiments that record low 
frequency electromagnetic disturbances associated with 
earthquakes. I would ask you to post the attached article 
or, if you have a newsletter, to include it, provided you 
feel the subject matter is appropriate for your members. 

I am looking for anyone who has been or wants to be 
involved in amateur research in this field. Thanks in 
advance for your help. Rspy, Vince T. Migliore, Editor 


Earthquakes are sometimes preceded by/linked with curious 
electromagnetic signals in the lowest frequency ranges. 
These signals can be detected by equipment in many radio 
shacks. I am trying to collect data on and stimulate 
amateur experiments aimed at monitoring ultra-low freq 
(ULF) phenomena that may be associated with earthquakes. 

Of course we'll have to include coverage of antennas, 
amplifiers, tuning circuits and interfaces to computers 
or strip chart recorders. 

I think the best approach is to focus on one design in 
each category. I have at least some skills in writing 
and research, but I need help with circuit design and 
engineering. I know, too, that some amateur radio 
operators and engineers are already tinkering with these 
ideas. My request therefore is to hear from anyone who 
has been or wants to be involved with low frequency 
monitoring for earthquake precursors. 

I am presently editor of a newsletter dedicated to 
earthquake prediction, amateur geo-physical monitoring 
and earth mysteries. For a free sample issue and a ULF 
bibliography, please send a large SASE ($0.75) to me: 

Geo- Monit or MM, 65 Washington St, S ant a Cla ra, CA 9 5050 

"THE WORLD SCANNER REPORT" (c) 1991-2; V2N4 - April, 1992; Page 4 

Geophysicists are at a loss to explain any mechanism that 
might account for seismic electromagnetic and magnetic 
disturbances but some theories include the piezo-electric 
effect of crushing & bending of quartz-containing rock in 
the earth's crust; the flow of magma beneath the crust 
that may contain metals, and the interaction of the 
earth's magnetic field with the solar wind. None of 
these models however is fully satisfactory. By organizing 
a good sized network of amateur monitors, we may be able 
to shed some light on this exciting new science. 


1. Radio Earth: The Radio-Seismic Connection. Joe 

Tate, Whole Earth Review, Fall, 1990. 

2. Sferics: a Beginner's Guide to Whistlers, Tweeks and 
Other Natural Radio Sounds and how to hear them. 
Mike Mideke, Whole Earth Review, Fall, 1990. 

3. Build the 'Whistler' VLF Receiver. Tom Fox, Popular 
Electronics, July, 1989. 

4. Amateur VLF Observations. W.C. Johnson, QST 
magazine, March, 1960. 

5. ULF, ELF and VLF Electromagnetic Field Observations 

Close to the Epicenter of the 7.1 Loma Prieta 
Earthquake: Possible ULF Precursors. 

A.C.Fraser-Smith, A. Bernardi, P.R. McGill, M.E. 
Ladd, R.A. Heliwell, and O.G. Villard, Jr., STAR 
Laboratory, Stanford University. 

I have completed an intermediate technical evaluation of 
the I COM R-1, DC-to-Daylight pocket scanner; an awesome 
little package of dynamite! My investigative focus was 
on the alleged and much-talked-about deficiencies of this 
unit; not on its numerous strengths & good points, which 
are well documented elsewhere. The result of my analysis 
is that I will not be adding the R-1 to my arsenal of 
monitoring equipment at any time in the near future; not 
because of any new discoveries or the deficiencies that I 
found, but because the danged thing is so tiny and micro¬ 
miniaturized that it is next to impossible to do anything 
with it, either to cure its few shortcomings or to add 
anything new and exciting. 

The R-1 has three serious problems: susceptibility to (1) 
strong signal overload, (2) adjacent channel interference 
mostly on AM in the LF-MF-HF bands where selectivity is 
vital and (3) spurious interference caused by internal 
mixer and/or intermod products. Poor selectivity in this 
unit results from the barn-door-wide 455 KHz IF filter on 
the DET-A board, which is used in common with both the AM 
and NFM modes. The 15 KHz width of this filter is more or 
less satisfactory for VHF/UHF NFM requirements but much 
too wide for LF-MF-HF AM shortwave bands where signal 
separation can be as little as 3 KHz. Imagine then, up to 
five different signals on one channel. No thank you! 

The exact source of the spurious interference is elusive 
but might be caused by dirty local oscillators (VCO) and/ 
or an inferior "clean-up" filter, FI-1, in the main unit. 
It seems that a company in England, RAYCOM, is doing a 
mod that eliminates most of the objectionable spurious 
interference on the VHF/UHF bands. I suspect RayCom's 
technique involves replacement of FI-1, a 10.7 MHz 2nd IF 
crystal filter with perhaps a better unit. It's possible 
that the stock ICOM filter is defective or out of spec if 
RayCom's modification actual It replaces FI-1. 

So what about a remedy for inferior Adjacent Channel 
Rejection? I think it is possible to replace the 455 KHz 
IF filter on the DET-A board with a narrower much sharper 
IF filter. I won't attempt that approach at this time 
for several reasons. The problem as I see it, is two¬ 
fold: first there is the matter of space or available 
real estate in the R-1; zilch. All decent IF filters of 
which I am aware are somewhat larger than the stock FL-1, 
and therefore will not find an easy residence. But even 
if one is found, a serious problem will remain! 

A useful IF filter for LF-MF-HF AM operation, say with a 
6 KHz bandwidth, will be too narrow for most NFM signals, 
especially at VHF & UHF. A 6 KHz IF filter will clip FM 
signals that are deviated more than 3 KHz, as is usually 
the case. Therefore, an ideal remedy for poor Adjacent 
Channel Rejection is the installation of a narrow IF 
filter that is auto-switched INTO the circuit whenever 
the AM mode is selected and OUT for NFM. An ideal 
approach that won't cause more problems than it resolves 
is not yet at hand because of space limitations and 
probable unavailability of a miniature IF filter. Fig-1 
depicts what I think is a correct approach, but schematic 
diagrams don't always convey the mechanics of things. 

I am uncomfortable at performing mods that can't be made 
fairly professional as if they were designed there in the 
first place. Therefore, I will not perform modification 
services to the R-1 in the near future, and at least not 
until more information and experience on the unit become 
available to me. At this time, I view any easy remedy 
for the poor selectivity as a probable cause of other 
problems where there were none before; limits to the 
utility & usefulness of the VHF-hi & UHF bands where a 
full bandwidth of the NFM IF filter is usually required. 

There is the matter of strong signal overload which 
pretty much eliminates the use of external antennas and 
preamplifiers for the R-1. It is not feasible to remedy 
this deficiency. An exemplary reason for the overload 
problem is that the RF Front End of the R-1 does not 
employ AGC (Automatic Gain Control), therefore it can 
operate only over a limited range of amplification before 
it is driven into cutoff and saturation, either/both of 
which produce symptoms of overload including clipping, 
distortion, desensitization, spurious & pseudo signals 
across the band. The only practical remedy for this 
deficiency is to reduce the signal strength into the R-1, 
either by a less efficient antenna or by an attenuator 
between the antenna and the receiver. Neither is what I 

’"THE WORLD SCANNER REPORT" (c) 1991-2; V2N4 - April, 1992; Page 5 

call very appropriate for a serious receiver. Nice job, 
there I COM, but no banana for you yet! 

One possible remedial approach to the AM selectivity 
problem of the R-1 (for you adventuresome hackers), will 
be to intercept a signal trace in series with FL-1 on the 
DET-A board, either into or out of the filter. A suitable 
point on this circuit trace will be broken and a narrow, 
sharper 455-KHz IF filter wired between the trace cut so 
as to be in series with FL-1. To make the new filter 
auto-switch in and out, depending on AM or NFM mode, the 
IN & OUT terminals of the new filter should also connect 
to the IN & OUT terminals of a CMOS bilateral switch such 
as a 74HC4066 with the control pin of the 4066 connected 
to the Q-7's Collector either Base of Q-5 on the DET-A 
board. This is a +5v control signal for the NFM/WFM 
modes (0-v for AM) which will enable the 4066 switch to 
bypass the new filter in the NFM/WFM modes, and to be 
active in the AM mode. Some refinement to this approach 
may be necessary for ultimate best results, but it sure 
seems the way to go at the moment for the researcher. 

For those who can't visualize this technique, Figure 1 
offers a schematic diagram of the DET-A board and the 
method. Theoretically speaking, here is what happens: 
An SPST switch is connected to the IN & OUT terminals of 
the new filter. When the switch is closed, the filter is 
effectively shorted out, thereby routing signals around 
the new filter. When the switch is open, signals have to 
pass through the filter. The Collector of Q-7 or either 
Base of Q-5 on the DET-A board offers this Mode Control 
Signal, which can be used to control a 74HC4066 bilateral 
switch to bypass the new filter as desired; i.e., OUT for 
AM, and IN (shunted) for NFM & WFM. 

NOTE: A 74HC4066 chip is rather large for the R-1, so a 
suitable alternative might be a TC4S66F (IC-10 in the 
PRO-2006) or a replacement TC4S66F (IC-2 on DET-A of the 
R-1). The TC4S66F is a very small single section SMT 
CMOS bilateral switch. 

In summary, the front-end overload problem cannot be 
remedied. AM selectivity can be greatly improved by 
simple replacement of the 455 KHz IF Filter but this will 
degrade the performance of the NFM mode in the VHF-UHF 
bands. Depending on your interest, the tradeoff of one 
serious problem for another is not a good way to go. The 
technique offered in Fig-1 will improve AM selectivity 
but not at the expense of degrading NFM/WFM performance. 

The jury is still out on spurious interference problems 
and more research and analysis is required before we 
settle on a solution. I keep hearing that RayCom of 
England has solved this problem, but they're not sharing 
the "secret" with anyone, so I would like to hear from 
you who had this procedure done. I would like to test 
and observe an R-1 that was modified by RayCom. At this 
point, my concern is that in solving one problem, they 
may have created other, possibly worse ones. Figure 1 
offer a clue for eliminating the spurious interference. 

Finally, we have to look with a jaundiced eye at the 
feasibility of invading and hacking the R-1. After 
careful review of the innards of the R-1, I can only 
conclude that due to its compressed design and lack of 
working room, there is a substantial chance of serious 
error, mechanical and/or electrical, associated with an 
invasive effort. This makes a commercial hacking venture 
quite unfeasible and at best, very risky to the hacker. 
Not many pro's can afford to replace a mis-hacked R-1 at 
current prices, you see. Neither can hobbyists, so any 
amateurish invasion with the idea of correcting the R-1's 
selectivity problems is ill-advised at this time. I do 
not say that it's impossible since further research and 
development may yet disclose a viable approach. Any such 
are not apparent right now. 


A source that I will call "reliable" because he claims to 
be an eyewitness, recently confided to me that he saw a 
PRO-2006 that somehow didn't "look right”. Sure enough, 
instead of a DIMMER SWITCH, it had a switch in the same 
place, but marked "LIGHT". According to the source, 
pressing that switch caused the blue background display 
lighting to turn on and off! He also noted the Radio 
Shack catalog number on the rear label to be 20-145A, 
which certainly would imply a recent production change 
somewhere along the line. My source is not a technical 
type so he was not able to assess his observation unit 
for any possible internal changes or upgrades. If YOU 
READERS see or hear of this variant PRO-2006A, please let 
me know what you learn, on. 


A Radio Shack store manager confides that the PRO-2006 
might be discontinued. He reports receiving a notice 
from a distribution center to get his order placed soon 
for all needed PRO-2006 stocks because they were being 
discontinued. Ordinarily, I would not print this info 
here, but an exception is made because I know how Radio 
Shack's system works. You see, the PRO-2005 was replaced 
in exactly the same manner in the same time period of the 

year_May, 1990. I worked part time for a Radio Shack 

store then and saw how the process worked. Lots of new 
merchandise for the coming year's catalog that begins in 
August of each year starts to appear, unannounced, on the 
shelves in the Apri1-May period. If a replacement for the 
PRO-2006 is on the way, then expect a sale on existing 
stocks and watch for the replacement to hit the shelves 
between May & August. I do not have a feel for what the 
replacement, if any, will be like. Given the current 
drive in Congress to outlaw the manufacture & importing 
of cellular-capable receivers, it is possible that any 
replacement will have cellular coverage permanently 
locked out! It might very well be that the PRO-2006A 
discussed above was an early advance model of the 
replacement. I just don't know any more to tell you at 
the moment, BUT..if you were planning to acquire one, 

- = Continued on Page 8 = - 

"THE WORLD SCANNER REPORT" (c) 1991-2; V2N4 - April, 1992; Page 6 





Radio Interests? (Put YEARS OF EXPERIENCE in each block that applies) 
VHF-UHF Amateur CB Shortwave Professional 



Or Occupation:_ 

List makes & models of your scanners & other radio equipment: 

USA RATES: (Canada +10%; Other Foreign +26%-surf or +40%-Air) 


1991 Single copies; your choice: I ea $ 4.00 _ 

1991 (1st 6-mos, Jan-May/Jun) 5 ea $15.00 _ 

1991 (2nd 6-mos, Jul-Nov/Dec) .5 ea $15.1116 __ 

1991 (1st Year, Jan-Nov/Dec) 10 ea $25.00 _ 


1992 Single copies; your choice: 1 ea $ 4.00 _ 

1992 (Jan-May/June) 6-mos 5 ea $15.00 _ 

1992 (Jan-Nov/Dec) 1-yr 10 ea $25.00 _ 

1992-3 (Jan 92-Nov/Dec 93) 2-yr 20 ea $45.00 _ 


H088Y RADIO BUYER'S DIRECTORY $14.95 ppd surf _ 

SCANNER MOD HNDBK, Vol-1: $17.95 + $3.00 S&H _* 

SCANNER MOD HNDBK, Vol-2: $17.95 t $3.00 S&H _* 

* Canada US$4 StHj Other Forej^n USI5 SSH; extra for Air Mail 

Describe your technical abilities & interests; use reverse as needed. MAKE REMITTANCE PAYABLE IN US FUNDS TO: COHHWIjJCS ENGHjEEIUM 
: Enclose a 010 S.A.S.E, and one loose extra stamp if you want 

: hobby info & personal reply! 8usiness/trade inquiries exempt. 

use OUK A/£ZISS ftiR QUICK /ZesfbA/^g' 

this may be the time, especially if they go on sale. 
Watch for one soon! Meanwhile, if you want to take 
advantage of a regular low price on the PRO-2006 and even 
lower prices when a sale is authorized, contact MaryMac 
Industries in Katy, Texas (800) 231-3680 and ask for 
Bruce. Tell ’im I sent ya. MaryMac's regular price on 
the PRO-2006 is about $340, but if Tandy authorizes a 
closeout sale, their price will be lots lower still! 
When Radio Shack last had the PRO-2006 on sale for $349, 
MaryMac's sale price was $299. Nice, huh? Wish I could 
advise you on the correct decision to make here, but I 
don't dare. The 2006’s replacement, if anything, could 
be a downgraded 2006 with a few cheap frills to make up 
for the loss of cellular coverage, OR it could be the 
best, hottest scanner yet. My sneakiest suspicion is 
that cellular coverage might not be possible to restore 
in coming generations of scanners. So, the decision is 
up to you: if the budget is tight or if you really don’t 
care about near-continuous coverage, then you might be 
better off to wait for the new generation. If near- 
continuous coverage is important and if your budget isn't 
strained, then you might want to take a long look at the 
PRO-2006 before its death knell sounds. 

The PRO-2006 is sure to not become outdated and behind 
the times very soon, especially considering the upgrade 
modification technology that I have developed & conveyed 
for this fine scanner. Regardless of the replacement, 
and there will surely be one this year or next, the 
venerable 2006 will remain a top-of-the-line performer 
for several years. About the only additional power that 
Radio Shack can provide in a replacement in an attempt to 
antiquate the 2006 would be an interface & software for 
computer control. Rumors of such a powerhouse have raged 
around the professional grapevine for almost a year now, 
but I've minimized talk about it because it sounds more 
like wishful thinking than reality. Besides, Radio Shack 
was beaten to the punch in VINI0 & V2N1 with the do-it- 
yourself FATMAN Computer Interface; RW Systems added 


insult to injury with their SC-3 Interface Kit; and 
Oatametrics pulled a coup d'etat witn their Computer 
Aided Scanning System. Sometimes I feel like that stupid 
Commissioner of Patents a hundred years ago, who resigned 
his office on the basis that there was nothing else to 

invent. Well_what else can Radio Shack whip out to 

impress us with? An S-meter? A variable delay? A few 
thousand channels? Data/Tone Squelch? CTCSS & other 
Tone Decoders? Yup, you've got all those and much more! 
So your PRO-2006's, AND....PRO-2004's & PRO-2005's are 
going to be competitive performers for a long time yet. 
Now let's see what surprises are in store. 


We're going to deal with CTCSS (Continuous Tone Coded 
Squelch Systems) and associated peripheral equipment in 
the near future. I'm fond of whetting your appetites, 
though, and in closing for this month, I wanted to clue 
you in on a neat little company in South Carolina called 
around for a while, but I’ve come to learn of them only 
recently as my research into the CTCSS industry widened. 
AIE makes some pretty neat CTCSS-related stuff for 
scanners and you would do well to prepare yourselves with 
their product literature for the coming months when we 
will evaluate and discuss their fare, from Tone Finders 
to computer-interfaced Tone Search & Store units. Write 
or call AIE at: 141 Granite St/PO Box 70; Batesburg, SC 
(803) 532-9256 & Fax (803) 532-9258. 

FOR SALE: Brand new, unopened AIE Model TCF-3M CTCSS 
Tone and Digital Code Finder; instantly finds & displays 
all CTCSS & digital codes, incl split channel & inverted 
codes. Memory retains all hit & time info which can be 
transferred to a printer via on-board RS-232 port. More! 
Retail @ $339.95, this unit oniy for $300 ppd ; w/manual. 
For Uniden BC-760/950XLT & Regency R-1600 only. Inquire 
to Bill Cheek c/o "NORLD SCANNER REPORT". 

1991-2; V2N4 - April, 1992; Page 8 

PO BOX 262478 
SAN DIEGO, CA 92196-2478 

ISSN 1061-9240 


t TIME TO RENEW APPROACHING: Next issue the last for May-92 Subscriptions 
t Try different hours for the Hertzian Intercept BBS: (619) 578-9241 
t INTRODUCING: The worldwide FidoNet BBS Network; Hobby Radio's finest tool! 

+ Scanner Frequency Management, Part II; gets deeper! 
t A scientist calls out for HELP from radio hobbyists 
+ Radio signals as warning signs of impending earthquakes ? Maybe! 

+ The latest technical evaluation of the ICON R-1: problems 4 deficiencies 
t ICOM R-1 problem resolution guide 4 notes 
t Rumors of a new PRO-2006(A) ? the evidence 
t Rumored that the PRO-2006 will be discontinued soon!